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Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #5258: Hetfield90's PSX Mega Man Legends in 52:44.93

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Mega Man Legends
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Mega Man Legends.cue
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 1.11.7
Movie length: 52:44.93
FrameCount: 187658
Re-record count: 60085
Author's real name: Richard Fitkin
Author's nickname: Hetfield90
Submitter: Hetfield90
Submitted at: 2016-10-16 05:48:20
Text last edited at: 2016-10-22 17:07:06
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (194714 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
PSX Mega Man Legends TAS in 52:44.9 by Hetfield90. Emulator used was BizHawk 1.11.7.

Encode

Goals

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time

Run Info

Difficulty Choice

I chose to do this TAS on normal difficulty instead of hard for a variety of reasons. The differences going from normal to hard are reduced zenny drops from enemies, significantly increased boss health, increased damage from enemies, a slight modification to one of Juno's attacks, and having to play on new game+. Reduced zenny would have simply resulted in having to take an extra wasp nest in Cardon Ruins, increased boss health would have resulted in having to slowly buster down bosses after running out of special weapon ammo, and increased damage from enemies would have made no difference since there are only 2 damage boosts in the entire run. The only thing that would have potentially been an entertainment bonus from hard mode would have been Juno's attacks, but I have a strong suspicion that wouldn't have been worth a Bruno fight with a health bar that extends well past the edge of the screen.

Intro Ruins

  • Strafing while running adds sideways movement speed without taking away any forward momentum, so it's generall fastest to strafe run at an angle.

  • Mega Man moves faster in the air when he jumps, but pauses on the ground in between each jump. Prior to acquiring the jump springs, running vs chaining jumps together effectively breaks even along long distances, but jumping allows you to adjust your angle with much more precision.

  • Hitting text box triggers relinquishes player control, so you want to be at the peak of a jump when you hit them so your momentum can carry you as far as possible.

  • Sliding doors have an invisible wall preventing you from passing through until the opening animation has finished completely. It may look like it's wasting time to run up against the side of the door while there's an opening in the middle, but it isn't. You simply want to be at the position which is closest to your next destination while waiting for the door to open.

  • Stutter Stepping - By turning 1 frame after a shot and moving forward one frame after that, you interrupt the shooting animation allowing you to fire shots much more rapidly. This completely marginalizes the "rapid" stat for buster upgrades, allowing you to focus much more on range, damage, and energy.

Snake Ruins

  • There's a 2600 zenny hole in here that is skipped. Grabbing this zenny will allow you to pick up the Power Raiser Alpha from the shop before the before the first boss gauntlet, but ended up being a few seconds slower in this TAS bceause of slow PSXHawk load times, English text speed, and TAS-level stutter stepping on the flying carriers.

First Boss Gauntlet

  • Blumebears(boss): A fairly simple fight; the blue Blumebear always starts with the key, but you have to deal a certain amount of damage to any one of the 3 Blumebears before they will start to have health bars, so the yellow one is attacked first since it's closest.

  • Feldynaut(boss): By standing from at the perfect position/angle, you can completely stunlock Fokkerwolf without moving in between mine tosses when attacking the weaker front-right leg.

  • City Hall: The three flying carriers have to be taken out first before any of the ground units, otherwise they'll just grab new ones. This was by far the most difficult part of the TAS, since manipulating the position of one ground unit affects all 4 of them, and you are constantly changing RNG when taking out the 3 carriers in the beginning.

  • Bon Bonne(boss): Standing in front of the lamp post prevents Bon Bonne from being able to land attacks on you because of his large hitbox, so you can just dump mines into him freely.

  • Marlwolf(boss): Marlwolf is manipulated to turn right at the start by standing off his left. You want the first hatch opening to spawn birds since they're faster, and the second to spawn a servbot since he'll just die to collateral mine damage. Since there is a lot of down time at the start of and after this fight, you have ample time to manipulate maximum zenny drops from the two tanks.

Cardon Forest/Ruins

  • The Roll escort is effectively an auto scroller, but you're a bit pressed for time if you want to pull off the optimal strat for the entrance into the ruins, especially since roll will stop in her tracks if she gets too close to a tank that hasn't been destroyed yet. You have to kill the first tank ASAP to get Roll to start moving in the beginning, so there isn't really much opportunity to manipulate zenny on that one, but the rest of the kills have more opportunity for manipulation.

  • Wasp nests can drop up to ~5000 zenny, which is a completely ridiculous amount at this point in the game, and grabbing one of these was much faster than waiting around to pick up drops from the carriers in City Hall.

  • I still needed 3 more zenny drops, two of which needed to be large green ones, from the floating enemies while waiting for the conveyor belt/crusher to destroy the chest. This was a pain in the ass to manipulate since nothing in that room advances RNG on a frame by frame basis, and Mega Man is limited strictly to shooting walls to do the manipulation himself. The conveyor belt doesn't pause during the dialogue for the 300 zenny hole, so it wastes no time to pick up.

  • Normally you'd go outside and have Roll make the Jump Springs for you out of the Spring Set to progress through the rest of the ruins to get the Rollerboard and zenny hole, but jumping off the elevator control panel makes that unnecessary.

  • Likewise to the one required wasp nest, the 9240 zenny hole is small price to pay for the essential upgrades it allows me to purchase from the shop trip.

Shop Trip

  • The Hyper Cartridge, which refills special weapon ammo and is usable mid-fight, is essential for maximizing DPS on the final boss as well as eliminating a rather lengthy dialogue right before it. You can only hold one of these at a time, so it's saved all the way up until then. The 4 buster parts which are purchased are heavily optimized around the attack and range stats, but the sniper unit has an added bonus of 1 energy, which increases Mega Man's maximum shot volley from 3 to 4. Rapid is completely ignored because it is heavily marginalized by the stutter step technique. Only two buster parts can be currently equipped at a a time, but that number will increase to 3 after obtaining the Adapter Plug from a later ruins.

  • The only commonly bought part which was skipped in this run was the Turbo Charger Omega, which gives 3 to energy stat, which is usually paired with the Buster Unit Omega(obtained from a chest in the final ruins), increasing attack and range by 3 each. With TAS-level precision on Grand Grenade tosses, the buster is marginalized enough in the late game to merit saving the Hyper Cartridge for the final boss and skipping these two buster upgrades(and the extra wasp nest that would have to be farmed to purchase Turbo Charger Omega).

Lake Jyun/Ruins

  • My sincerest appologies for not finding a way to sequence break past this boat auto scroller.

  • Balcon Gerald(boss): A little bit of range is needed to hit Balcon Gerald from the boat, so the Sniper unit is used instead of the Power Raiser Omega on this boss. Since you can't stutter step on the boat, the +1 energy from the Sniper Unit is very beneficial.

  • With the Jump Springs now equipped, chaining jumps together surpasses running over long distances.

  • Since the range stat is almost useless on Garudoriten(boss), the Sniper Unit is replaced in favorite of the Power Raiser Omega. Since his arms will still be covering his face after taking 3 shots before your next volley is off cooldown, you want to create a doppler effect with each volley to induce his immunity more quickly. Also, you cannot open the door after the fight until Roll's dialogue starts, so you want to position yourself for the last shot a specific distance between the boss and the door so that her dialogue starts right when you reach the door.

Clozer Ruins

  • The Grand Grenade is required to destroy a ceiling in Clozer Ruins to progress through the rest of the game, but it also happens to be the most cost effective special weapon(in terms of time/zenny) you can get in an any% run. We don't have enough zenny to upgrade it just yet, but that will come later in the run.

  • Quick Aim: By holding down to look up on all frames of an aim, your next aim will start at that place if you press down on the same frame you start the aim. Since there is a buffer period after entering the back door of the boat shop and exiting the Flutter for whatever reason, you can use this down time to set up a quick aim for this grenade toss. You can also set up quick aims any time you have to call Roll to pick up up in the car, and since quick aim is universally beneficially any time you have to aim a Grand Grenade, you want to set one up any time you can.

  • Karumuna Bash(boss): The 3 dogs will always run towards Mega Man if his back is turned to them, but their hitboxes are too large to fit in the doorway at the end of the room. The red one should be manipulated to use fire in order to group them all up as quicky as possible. It might look like I'm wasting frames turning around instead of quick turning after the first two grenade tosses, but Grand Grenade damage is very finnicky and deals significantly reduced damage without proper timing/aim.

Gesselshaft(boss)

  • The 5 servebots in the first phase of the fight can be kill slightly more quickly with 4 Grand Grenades instead of 3, but conserveing 1 allows me to eliminate a 3 second conversation with data to refill ammo. To kill them with 3 you have to throw the Grenades at specific times to make sure the first two tosses hit 2 each, then you finish off the one that takes less damage with buster.

  • Buster Stat Property Storing: By pausing and switching buster parts while a volley is still on screen, you can change some of the stats of the current volley while retaining others. At the end of this fight, I shoot a volley of 4 lower-damage shots, then switch to a higher damage layout that has a maximum volley of 3, and the 4 shots on screen receive the updated damage values. This is particuarly useful since it eliminates a having to shoot an extra volley, and I no longer need the Sniper Unit's range for any of the remaining bosses.

Fokkerwolf(boss)

  • You can only stutter step on Fokkerwolf when she's flying toward the ship. It's possible to hit her with unaimed shots when she's flying around it, but you can't turn quickly enough while stutter stepping to make more than one of them hit her.

Bruno(boss)

  • To my knowledge, it is impossible to hit Bruno while his arms are up for his plasma shot attack. Since I'm out of Grand Grenades at this point, I bait him into destroying part of the fence that I'll have to pass by later.

  • There's a nearby Subsidy which you can enter immediately after the Bruno fight, but there are too many powerful enemies inside that would take too long to destroy without first upgrading the Grand Grenade. To fix this, we go rob 200k zenny from some servbots who were being racially profiled by the police as robbers after making a bank withdrawal to start a bakery.

Subsidy 1

  • The centipede will close its hatch after 3 shots if you shoot him with a full volley immediately. For some reason, he will let you hit him with 4 if you shoot him with a single shot followed by a 3-shot volley. His final segment, however, will not let you hit him with more than 3 shots per cycle under any circumstances.

Subsidy 2

  • I tried to manipulate the enemies here to group up as much as possible, but the green hippo at the start and the scissor guy way in the back took too long to reach the other enemies, so I just turned and killed them afterwards.

Subsidy 3

  • The walker/antenna guys don't need to be manipulated here, but all of the hippopotami do. The now-upgraded Grand Grenades do ~1300 damage optimally compared to the buster's 90 damage, and the walkers only take 5 buster shots to kill, so using a Grand Grenade on them is a bit wasteful because of the massive overkill but it is still a bit faster. It was unclear whether or not I was going to be able to use every grenade I wanted to in Subsidy 3 without having to talk to data for an ammo refill before Juno, but I managed to luck out and guess the optimal grenade route on first try without needing to backtrack. The only enemy in Subsidy 3 which I didn't grenade is the far away antenna at the start, since I'm saving my quick aim for the one on top of the high building later on. You cannot do consecutive quick aims with grenade tosses unless the previous grenade toss is a maximum heigh toss(which I don't think any of them are), since a quick aim has to be set up by holding down for the entire duration of the aim period.

Main Gate(revisit)

  • The two rice hat bots at the end of the spiral form a solid wall until they start to move apart. The fastest way to get past them is to aggro them and skate along the wall to pull them apart before dashing through them. This only ended up being a handful of frames faster than jumping over them and starting a new dash.

Juno 1

  • Juno 1 is effectively an auto-scroller where you simply have to manipulate the fastest possible patterns, since the fight phase does not end when Juno 1 reach zero hp, but rather when his final move finishes after reaching zero hp. The way his AI works is that he will either jump or dive at you 1-6 times, then do a more powerful attack. The fastest filler move is a jump, and the fastest powerful attack is spinning lasers. Therefor, the fastest fight you can possibly get is 1 jump>spinning lasers>1 jump>spinning lasers. Since the fight doesn't end until he finishes his last attack, I'm not wasting any time by shooting the wall mid-fight for manipulation.

  • There are specific locations where you can stand inside of Juno's laser attack without getting hit. You generally don't want to be tossing a grenade while a laser is passing through you since it changes Mega Man's hitbox.

Juno 2

  • Similarly to Juno 1, Juno 2 also alternates between some number of filler attacks(in this case 1-3) and one random, more powerful attack. Jumping is the faster filler move than flame dashing, so you want to manipulate 1 jump in between each powerful attack to reduce the amount of time between them. Fireball is the longest powerful attack, so it should be manipulated each time so you can pump more consecutive grenades into Juno without having to move and re-adjust your aim in between tosses.

  • As I mentioned before, Grand Grenade damage is very finicky. Not only does it have a lot of hitboxes, but Juno does as well each of which take varying amounts of damage. Juno's sweet spot for maximum Grand Grenade damage is kind of near his neck, and when he spins around during fireball attacks you sometimes have to delay your toss to avoid hitting his shoulder.

Closing Remarks

Possible Improvements

  • There are several parts of this run where multiple enemy positions need to be simultaneously manipulated with very little opportunity to do so: the snake pit, City Hall, Subsidy 2, and Subsidy 3 in particular. I got as optimal of patterns as I was able to find through trial and error, but I am sure there are theoretically faster patterns which could be found via disassembly.

Acknowledgements

  • I owe a huge thanks to the guys from the Mega Man Legends RTA community for helping me out with the routing for this run and looking over all of my WIPs to notify me of possible improvements over the course of making it: BlueM3tal, LCC, Auchgard, EasyE1993, Fox_WATP, JMC4789, BoSteed, & FurryFapmaster.

  • Also thanks again to Feos for his work on tasTUDIO, fixing a greenzone bug which sometimes prevented savestates from being made in 30 fps games. I can't really imagine making this run without the power of the tudio.

Screenshot Suggestion(170369)


Samsara: This one's mine, Moth.

Samsara: Jump n' Shoot Man always makes for a good run. Accepting to Moons.

feos: Pub.


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